Senate lawmakers confirmed Janet Yellen as U.S. Treasury secretary, making her the first woman in American history to hold the post.
First and foremost, she will be charged with leading through Congress a $1.9 trillion American bailout plan for President Joe Biden and overseeing its implementation. The plan includes $1,400 in stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits and increased funding for vaccinations and coronavirus testing.
Earlier, Yellen said the new administration’s first priority would be to help the country with a pandemic and other issues, including America’s growing deficit and tax hikes. “Right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” she told the Senate Finance Committee.
She made clear that her No. 1 priority would be to help those most in need – especially minority workers and women, who have been hit hardest by the recession.
“The pandemic caused massive devastation. The damage has been enormous, and . our response should be the same,” Yellen noted.